Tuesday, November 24, 2015

November Stuff

Date nights to get new books with this boy are pretty awesome.

Mornings spent doing puzzles with friends are pretty great too! Even if we have little helpers that aren't all that helpful.

Movie nights out to see The Peanuts Movie with the whole family are crazy fun!

The first snow of the season is always magical...and we get to pull out our snow boots and leg warmers!

And turn on the fireplace...

Making dessert for an epic game night is exciting!

Love that we have game nights with good friends! This night involved two expansion packs for an 8 player game and painting two sets of game pieces! It was crazy fun!

I went to the big kids' school for their Thanksgiving lunch this year! It's the first year I have gone...I figured I better do it before AJ's too old and cool to want to have his mom come for lunch with him. I'll cry when that day comes.

Abby's Thanksgiving lunch time was right after AJ's, so I stayed and ate with her too. Can I just say that nothing about school lunch has changed. Not the plastic trays or the super hard to open paper milk cartons or the school lunch gravy or fold up tables. It was like a time warp back to my elementary days.

This boy was pretty excited for his preschool Thanksgiving feast. Love this boy's spirit and love for all things festive!

We had a neighbor Thanksgiving with good friends/neighbors with a German food theme! We are so blessed with amazing friends in our life. Genuine, good down to earth people that are so real about life. It's good for the soul to connect with people.

I learned a new game with AJ. He was super good at breaking my code. I finally stumped him with 3 yellows and a green!

Although I don't win at Settlers very often, I am becoming a master at building things with my game pieces! Ha!

Check out my spot on the board...it was going to be the forest wonderland that allowed me to take over the world...except I couldn't take over the world without any flippin' wheat or sheep. Strategy fail.

Festive roadtrip music surprises are super awesome!

And festive coffee is the best!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving week!!!

Halloween 2015

Halloween is one of my most favorite times of the year! I love decorating, coordinating costumes, the colors black/orange/purple together, taking the kids trick or treating...all of it!

Last year we carved our pumpkins too early, and they were yucky by Halloween night...so this year I decided to wait and almost forgot to carve them! Seriously mom brain is a real thing. A thought can be here one minute and then poof it's like the thought never existed. So Friday night at bed time we carved pumpkins!

AJ & Abby carved their own pumpkins this year...which was terrifying. No blood was shed though...which is pretty miraculous for our family.

AJ went with a Minecraft pumpkin, Abby went for the happiest pumpkin, & Brody wanted a ghost that was yelling.

Abby's costume was the perfect excuse to order a Glinda costume and go with a whole family theme! Everyone was on board but AJ...so like every good parent I resorted to bribery and won AJ over. I think Abby liked getting to wear bright red lipstick the most out of her whole costume.

Brody wanted to be a lion like his daddy. He was a pretty stinkin' cute lil lion.

AJ was a tornado...made from chicken wire, zip ties, cotton batting, tulle, spray paint, plastic animals & lots of hot glue.

The tornado idea came along all because I wanted this picture...Mahaha.

Whole family photo!

Andy's costume was made by his grandma years ago and his grandpa wore it every year. I love that he wears it now.

Every year we get the kids Halloween portraits taken by Sharon Arnoldi Photography for FREE! It's the best! I have a scrapbook of her Halloween portraits from the last 5 years!

And just like that I'm ready for Christmas!!!


Thursday, November 19, 2015

October Catch Up...in November Ha!

 Whew October flew by.  There were so many days and evenings full of just taking life in that I didn't even think about blogging.  I just lived in the moment.  

This day at the park with the kids and the warmth of the sun on my feet was perfect...the breeze was perfect...the kids running round and playing was perfect.  I wanted to capture it and hold onto it.  Because at that moment I knew how blessed I was.  And I love capturing that warmth...the warmth of the sun and the warmth of the moment.
 I also love the cozy feeling of cuddling up on the couch with a hot cup of coffee and a good book.  I want my kids to indulge in cozy moments like this.  To be snuggle uppers and taker inners of moments and good books.
 AJ has had "catch a rainbow trout and eat the rainbow trout he caught" on his bucket list for awhile now.  It must be his Missouri roots from my side coming out.  But although I was born in Missouri and love myself some country living, I am not a fish person.  I do not like the taste and cannot handle the smell.  Lucky for him, he has an amazing papa that picked him up early one day for a morning of fishing...where he caught many rainbow trout, helped clean them, and cook them for lunch.  Papa even took pictures for this photo loving mama...and I did not have to smell fish one bit.  I love the relationship our kids have with their nana and papa.
 Abby got to participate in a Victorian Tea Party one afternoon and learn about social skills and etiquette as part of an American Heritage Girls badge.  It was such a special experience to take part in...and referring back to what we learned helps this mama reinforce some table manners every night at the dinner table...because I need all the help I can get! Ha!  No, but seriously I do.
 Jumping in a pile of leaves with a good friend is good for the soul.  These two with rakes was a little terrifying and I had to dodge a few whacks to the face, but once we had a pile to jump in it was simply fall perfection.
 I believe playing cards with friends and family is something everyone should take the time to do.  Even if you are tired the next day...there's always coffee to look forward to.
 Playing board games by the fire on a chilly fall day with this cutie is pretty awesome.  And totally worth letting the dishes and laundry go by unfinished.
 So I thought doing a puzzle as a date night would be a great way to hang out and visit...it's gotta be better quality time than watching TV together right?...except it was the quietest 2.5 hours as we were both concentrating so hard we couldn't carry on a conversation.  Ha! 
 Scarf weather and fresh, hot coffee is one of my happy places...and they make the mad dash for carpool at 8:15am way better in the morning.  It's the little things in life that keep us sane.
 Baking with good friends is therapeutic and should really be planned on a regular basis...just make sure you have an entire day to get carried away visiting.

 This puzzle was hell to put together.  1,000 pieces of pure torture.  It will be hanging in our garage as a tribute to our victory...after 9.5 hours of 3 of us working away silently on it....through many late night Dr. Peppers and cups of coffee. That thing was a beast.  And my puzzle picking privileges have been revoked...but that won't stop me...mahaha.
 Teaching the kids new games is the best.  Saying Farkel is pretty fun too.  Try to say it without smiling...come on try it...AJ and I can't do it.  Farkel...MAHAHA!!!
And hey, it's Thanksgiving week!!!!!!!!
mmmmmm cranberries and pumpkin pie and Tami's crock pot corn...I love food.

Peace out!  Stay thankful for the little things...they are the things that pull us through the big things.

Fall Break 2015: Camping

Way back in October we went camping with some good friends and neighbors over fall break!
It was the best to just be outside...reading, playing card games and visiting as the kids ran around and played.  To escape screens and technology and the daily grind.
The days were warm and the nights were chilly.
The kids explored and played in nature till they were exhausted and covered in dirt every day.
Mary Flair was cozy as usual.
It was a great few days with good people.
My heart is so happy that our kids are growing up camping.
Owning Mary Flair has blessed us far more than I ever imagined.